Away Game: the Hotel Post Bezau

·2 min read
The outdoor pool at the Hotel Post Bezau  (Hotel Post Bezau)
The outdoor pool at the Hotel Post Bezau (Hotel Post Bezau)

Susanne Kaufmann is best known for her powerful cosmetic products, but she is a proud hotelier first and foremost. The Hotel Post Bezau has been in the Kaufmann family for 170 years and has been a constant presence in the small town in the heart of the Bregenzerwald. Its wood-clad exterior is quintessentially Austrian, while inside the main house little has changed (save for a wing that was added in the Nineties), lending it an old-world charm. Rooms in the new wing are delightfully spartan: low beds, blonde wood floors, Susanne Kaufmann toiletries and floor-to-ceiling windows that artfully frame the mountain views.

The exterior of the Hotel Post Bezau (ES Magazine)
The exterior of the Hotel Post Bezau (ES Magazine)

So far, so instagrammable. But I’m not here simply to soak up the views. Having had two pregnancies bookend the pandemic, I felt like I was edging towards mental and physical burnout. I craved something more targeted and results-driven than a Nine Perfect Strangers-type trippy immersion.

Hence why the Hotel Post tessellated perfectly with my needs. While it offers set retreats focused on body, detox, mindset or — curiously — tennis, guests can also liaise with the health concierge to create a bespoke programme. In layman’s terms this meant looking at my sleep (or lack thereof), healthy nutrition (or lack thereof) and daily movement, as well as providing superlative spa treatments designed by Madame Kaufmann and hotel director Stephanie Rist.

 (ES Magazine)
(ES Magazine)

Sleep was the first thing to be course-corrected, with electricity and wi-fi cut off in rooms at 10pm each night to avoid the temptation to doom scroll or catch up on TV. Dining felt a little more challenging — the region is famous for its wine and cheese — but after a few days I quickly adjusted to the delicious alkaline-based soups, broths and platters of titivated rainbow veg.

But the biggest game changer, unsurprisingly, was the programme of treatments offered in the über-modernist spa. Mornings were spent with my therapist Irene as she gently performed lymphatic drainage on my body — soft pulse-like movements which awaken sleepy lymph nodes to stimulate the body’s metabolism and flush out toxins. This worked in perfect synchronicity with daily hikes, swimming and some gentle yoga. Not prescribed by the doctors, a spoiling add-on and one that instantly made me feel better was the new collagen facial which didn’t just work on the face and décolletage but also on reflexology points down to my toes.

A traditional retreat this certainly is not. But after five days I found myself feeling brighter, lighter and — thanks to a few chrysalis-like body wraps — firmer around the edges. It’s a gentle reset and one, as a time poor, frazzled mum-of-two, I wholeheartedly recommend.

Rooms at Hotel Post Bezau start at £206 for a single. Bespoke retreats are available on request (hotelpostbezau.com)

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